Honour Ranch near Kamloops will provide refuge for those suffering after serving our country

The Honour Ranch
Image Credit: Contributed by Honour House Society

KAMLOOPS - For first responders and soldiers dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder a ranch near Kamloops will soon provide refuge.

The Hacienda Caballo ranch near Heffley Creek will be a retreat with treatment for people who suffer from the disorder. Called Honour Ranch, it will provide a free, safe place to help recover, says Honour House society president Allan De Genova.

“They really need the help and they’re not getting the help they need,” De Genova says.

Honour Ranch follows Honour House in Vancouver, which opened in November 2010, as a place for first responders and members of Canadian Forces to stay while getting medical help.

Around 14 months ago Rick Walness of Hacienda Caballo reached out to the Honour House Society and offered his ranch.

“He was seriously injured a couple years ago,” De Genova says. “Paramedics took care of him.”

Since Walness was looking for a way to give back and De Genova knew of the need in the province for a safe, stigma-free space for people with PTSD to work on recovering, the Honour Ranch idea was developed.

The Honour Ranch
The Honour Ranch
Image Credit: Contributed by Honour House Society

Plans are still being developed and rolled out, but the doors opened Saturday, Oct. 22. By February, treatment programs will be set up for those seeking them, with a doctor on site when needed. While treatment with health professionals will be an option, the ranch will provide a safe space to get away to if that’s all that’s needed.

“They can stay as long as they feel they need,” De Genova says.

The ranch can accommodate up to 20 people at a time, and people will be able to bring their family while at the ranch.

A big concern for him is the number of people who’ve worked as soldiers, paramedics or in related fields who’ve served the country and are being let down, he says. Part of the inspiration came from a paramedic in the Yukon he met, who was doing therapy online and had no place to get well.

“All our frontline people that keep us safe everyday,” he says. “The trauma they see, that’s why the suicide rate is so high.”

The ranch is the first of its kind in the province, De Genova says, adding while similar sites exist elsewhere in the country they don’t meet the need in B.C.

Funding for the Honour Ranch comes from donations and fundraisers.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Jason Momoa in a scene from "Aquaman."
MOVIE REVIEW: Jason Momoa swims but 'Aquaman' sinks
  OPINION Superheroes who travel by sea horse never get any respect. Since Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger first dreamed him up in 1941, Aquaman's fate has largely been as the Rodney Dangerfield of DC Comics &m

Top News